1. Water, the great friend of Wine
There is no such thing as an "Asian palate"
Wine Critics More Sensitive to Flavors Buyers Can’t Taste, Study Shows
The bottles that could be EATEN once you’ve drunk what’s inside vs. Are you ready for wine bottles that could be eaten once you’ve drunk what’s inside?
2. Sideways No More: Wine Auction Signals Economy Looking Up
Chinese buy five more Bordeaux houses
Lighting Influences Wine Tastes, Price Points: Study
3. March 12  NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting
April 16 Oregon Wine Flight to NY.               
May 2 Wine&Spirits TOP OF THE LIST 2012
At the Drefus Ashby Leap Year Late Night Tasting (10pm to Midnight) at the Setai Fifth Avenue Hotel I tasted a number of Maison Joseph Drouhin which surprisingly didn’t taste “special”.  Was it the late hour? (This was my first late night tasting.)  One real standout me was a lovely Tempranillo whose name and night sky label instantly attracted me. The winemakers notes for 2008 Torres Celeste Ribera del Duero $18 state: “Celeste is an opulent wine brimming with fruit, body and colour: as unique as the night sky in the Ribera del Duero.”-  I agree!
However the week after, at Benoit, I tasted several lovely 2010 Maison Drouhin offerings.  I like best their flagship Beaune Clos De Mouches (Blanc & Rouge).  The Setai tasting was mostly 2009 (widely considered a stellar vintage).  [fyi in 2009 they became certificated organic. This long term practice makes the discovery delight of variation found in biodynamic offerings.]  Then I wondered could it be astrology? According to Chateau Moonshine? How the taste of wine is governed by the waxing and waning moon many serious English tastings are Moon based. Being an astrologer should I not know better? All oenophiles know one key factor in enjoying wines is our moods and the Moon rules our moods! At the first Drouhin event the Moon was in Gemini, an Air (Flower) sign, but Saturn was rising- that alone could be enough to explain things.  At the second tasting the Moon was in Virgo (Earth/Root).  This is the opposite of biodynamic doctrine.  Then I again wondered if it was the time of night or vintage and not astrology.  However, I confess to ignorance of biodynamic tenants (my specialty is financial astrology, not agriculture).  So I did a quick web study and learned they used a modified (visual) Sidereal NOT Tropical reference. The “GOOD TASTING was NOT Moon in Virgo, but Leo (Fire/Fruit) and the “BAD” TASTING was NOT Moon in Gemini but Taurus (Earth/Root).
This is exactly what Biodynamic practitioners would have predicted!  . 
Speaking of Biodynamic, I very much enjoyed the RETURN TO TERROIR 6th American Tasting  2/27/20012. Biodynamic wines tastings are by nature unique and offer surprises.  Long gone thankfully are the days when these were “malformed” wines.
I began with three “cheats” aka best known wineries. - Maison Chapoutier (Rhone Wines), Coulee de Serrant (Loire Valley) and Domaine Zind Humbrecht (Alsace).  All tasted up to their deserved high reputations.  To this list of biodynamic wine growers to mark I add two fine Burgundy houses: Domaine Emmanuel Giboulot and Domaine Pierre Morey, and one additional from Alsace, Domaine Tempe, and Albet I Nova from Spain who served my best Value find: Albet i Noya Tempranillo Clàssic 2010 $11.99. Surprisingly there was only one American winery exhibiting, Coturri Winery, named by Robert M. Parker as One of the Top Zinfandel Producers.
FOOD & WINE Recommended Pairing: Gruyere Cheese with Jura Vin Jaune (Yellow wine).
MY DISAPPOINTMENT: While the champagne of David Leclapart was pleasant- his cv promised: “He who drinks good wine see God.”  After tasting, I was still earth bound. Was it me or the wine?
At the Kobrand Maison Louis Jadot tasting, I would need to write many pages of detailed tasting notes to give any semblance of justice to this excellent tasting.  These ranged all the way from an inexpensive 2007 biodynamic white Cote-de-Nuits Villages “Vaucrain” Domaine Jadot $17.50 to the 1210 great Burgundy Chapelle-Chambertin Domaine Louis Jadot $135 and up.
Bottom line: You rarely will go wrong with a Maison Louis Jadot selection.
NEW YORK WINE EXPO March 2-4 2012 Javits Center
With over 600 wines from 175 wineries around the world, there are enough wine choices here that in this one wine tasting alone one could become eligible to join the century club (membership contingent upon tasting 100 different wine grapes).  Hence one needs a plan.  I basically decided to focus on the Rhone Valley and the Wines of Portugal this year.
My favorite wines here was Cote Rote Gabriel Meffre Laurus 2005 a Syrah [$60] and the other northern syrah offering Crozes-Hermitage Vidal Fleury 2009 [$25].
In the Portuguese pavilion our favorite was the Douro valley odisseiawines. We intend to revisit them at the June 7 Portuguese NY tasting.
Best biodynamic wine I tasted was from Domaine de la Pinte.
I also enjoyed again the Brio Spicy Syrah $18 from the Indian goodearthwinery.  However, I still prefer a Taj Mahal or King Fisher beer with spicy Indian food; but if I wanted a red (and not a sweet white), it would be this Syrah!
The most tempting reason to visit my sister in Tuscany was my invitation to visit Residenza di Charme in Toscana Il Falconiere Spa & Restaurant and Baracchi Wine Resort - Baracchi Winery.
At this booth I tasted another first: Baracchi Brut Rosè: the first classic method made from the Sangiovese grape.  Quite pleasing and hopefully I will get to taste it again in Tuscany!
3 Reinos (Translation: Kingdoms) Lontue Valley- Why? Because ON THE FRONT OF THE LABEL it clearly stated: 75% Carmenere, 15% Merlot & 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
I am sure hosts manning this booth were happy NOT to have to repeatedly answer the perennial question: What grape(s)? 
Most well liked by youngish wine newbies? Papi Rosato Moscato Gran Cuvee Sparkling Italy $9.99.
FOOD:  Most tasty tidbit was the delicious Champignon Mushroom cheese .
Attendance Friday night is surprisingly less crowded than Saturday and may be a better choice is your schedule allows.
4. Book Review: A Toast to Bargain Wines by George Taber
HW: I would add this is a well edited book to encourage wine consumers to trust their own taste and recommended easy reading.
“What is a good wine? To me it is something I enjoy drinking and want more!  If so then it is good.” – E. Gallo.
The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
This book is aimed at food lovers discover wines and add to their enjoyment: “What we love most about wine is its ability to make food taste even better!”
Best advice here: Choose wine by flavors e.g. If you like want strawberry choose Beaujolais, Pinot Noir Rose and Tempranillo etc.
My criticism is that is solely American focused and too much sommelier worship.  Of course Sommeliers deserve to be stars in a food and wine book but not given hero worship along with too many quotes suggesting this was more a “manufactured” rather than “created” book.
Unquenchable A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines Natalie MacLean
One could subtitle this: A Scottish guide to value wines” but would that sell?
The question I’m asked most often “what’s your favorite wine?”
My answer: “The one someone else pays for”.
This is a down to earth global wine romp- It is not for those who are accustomed to First Growth fine wines and 5 star hotels but for those who want to live and drink like natives when they travel.  In other words, a book not for those who aspire to become a wine connoisseurs but to be able to afford to drink enjoyable wines often.
Bottom line: This is a good value read (it will pay for itself by saving you money in 7 of the world wine regions and as an appreciative gift to wine bargain hunters friends and family.
NB. a quote from Natalie’s New Year’s blog:
NM: Did you know that 28.9% of relationship breakdowns in the New Year are due to wine shopping conflicts? I was as surprised as you look now.
HW: Yes but in New York the figure is far lower (under 10%) due to 1) the large selection of wine stores 2) abundance of half bottles! J Happy New Year.
NM: Ha! Good to know Henry :)
5. "What is the definition of a good wine? It should start and end with a smile." –William Sokolin
Either give me more wine or leave me alone.”  -Rumi
Domaine Romanée-Conti is God’s way of saying you’re making too much money.” - Robin Williams
6. READER: Re: Prosecco- don’t tell me you have not enjoyed any?
HW: At last month’s tasting, we enjoyed La Farra Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg sparkling extra dry and Mionetto Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze Docg Sparkling Dry. Both can be easily recommended.
READER:  Henry, I'm sorry to hear your computer slipped out of your hands at a wine tasting...twice. I've heard of butter fingers, but you are Beaujolais Fingers.
I'm glad, however, that you restarted your wine enewsletter. Congrats on your success with it last year. I voted for this edition. Best of luck with it again this year!
The old wine commercials were great. Did you know that they led to some other fantastic video links? Some were classics, like Flintstones commercials from the early '60s for cigarettes and beer. I also enjoyed the write up on wine tastes matching certain personality types. I was a psych major and that piece made a lot of sense to me.
This was your most entertaining newsletter that I recall. I hope it's an omen for this year and the resumption of your newsletter in general.
HW: Hopefully like a fine wine, my newsletters ages well. For the record you should accuse me of having I having “Tempranillo” fingers as tragedy occurred at the 7th annual World Tempranillo wine competition. .
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Henry Weingarten
Voted in the top 20 blogs (#17 out of 920) on Local Wine Events


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